Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Heberlein1 argues that the environment should be protected not only by people but also from people because people are the number one threat to the environment. Issues of global freezing and warming have all come about due to the activities of man.

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Moreover, technology has a big role to play in both the deterioration and the conservation of the environment. Therefore, I am very keen on environmental preservation. Similarly, I commend governments that have tried to put in place laws and guidelines on environmental preservation. Environmental values are instilled in people when they are young. The problem, however, arises when people grow older, as they get comfortable with the degradation of the environment.

Kennedy et al.2 argue that it is difficult for people to walk the talk. I have some behaviors that do more harm to the environment than good, despite being an active supporter of environmental preservation. For example, I drive myself to school in a car that uses diesel. Bortoleto and Paula3 clarify that diesel is damaging to the environment. The soot that the car produces contains carbon dioxide, which destroys the ozone layer. Being one of the people who add to the problem of global warming proves that I do not walk the talk.4

My attitude towards environmental protection is positive, while my behavior towards the same is negative. One major factor that prevents me from acting in congruence with my attitude is the inadequate public transport system in place. Public transit is more environmentally friendly than the use of many personal cars.5 If everyone used public transport, then there would be fewer cars on the road. Consequently, there would be less air and noise pollution.

However, public transport is inconvenient. Using public transit would make me miss crucial deadlines, yet I have deadlines to beat. Moreover, public transportation is not maintained well. The vehicles and trains are dirty; therefore, I will have to put my health at risk by avoiding polluting the environment by using public transport. Heberlein6 adds that public transport can be uncomfortably crowded, thus interfering with privacy.

Sometimes, one may need the privacy of a personal car to collect their ideas and make arrangements and appointments while running up and down. Public transport is also not very secure. My tight schedules demand that I have to move around with personal belongings that might get lost or be stolen when using public transport.

Having said this, it is still crucial to point out that public transport is more environmentally friendly than having many personal cars. To arrive at a consensus, people and the government have to ensure that public transport is well maintained and clean.7

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This can be done by encouraging people to throw rubbish into the placed rubbish bins. Also, it would be important for the government to employ cleaners to ensure that the automobiles and the stations are clean because public transport is managed by the government. As mentioned, public transport is also not completely environmentally friendly. However, making it cleaner will make it more appealing to the public. Many will then opt to use the public system, thereby reducing the number of cars that contribute to the problem of air and noise pollution.

Furthermore, the government should ensure that the automobiles used in public transit are fully environmentally friendly; otherwise, it would just be a case of reducing the contributors of the problem, but not solving the issue. I can start by giving suggestions to public transit management on how to make public transportation more appealing to the public. Moreover, I can offer my services and be proactive in ensuring the public transportation is not only safe for passengers but also faster.

This may include talking to the right people on the boards of management about the possibility of buying faster automobiles to ensure that people are not late for their jobs and appointments. A lot can be done both at a personal and communal level to ensure that people embrace public transport. However, the willingness of the government and the people in charge of public transport is mandatory.

Bibliography

Bortoleto, Ana Paula. Waste Prevention Policy and Behavior: New Approaches to Reducing Waste Generation and its Environmental Impacts. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Heberlein, Thomas A. Navigating Environmental Attitudes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Kelly, Mary. Environmental Debates and the Public in Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 2007.

Kennedy, Emily Huddart, Beckley Thomas M., McFarlane Bonita L., and Nadeau Solange. “Why we don’t walk the Talk: Understanding the Environmental Values/Behaviors in Canada.” Human Ecology Review 16 no. 2 (2009): 151–160.

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Tellegen, Egbert, and Wolsink Maarten. Society & its Environment: Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Footnotes

  1. Thomas A. Heberlein, Navigating Environmental Attitudes (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 73.
  2. Huddart, Kennedy Emily Beckley Thomas M., McFarlane Bonita L., and Nadeau Solange, “Why we don’t walk the Talk: Understanding the Environmental Values/Behaviors in Canada.” Human Ecology Review 16 no. 2 (2009), p. 154.
  3. Paula, Ana Bortoleto, Waste Prevention Policy and Behavior: New Approaches to Reducing Waste Generation and its Environmental Impacts (New York: Routledge, 2014), p. 57.
  4. Huddart, Kennedy Emily Beckley Thomas M., McFarlane Bonita L., and Nadeau Solange, “Why we don’t walk the Talk: Understanding the Environmental Values/Behaviors in Canada.” Human Ecology Review 16 no. 2 (2009), p. 154.
  5. Mary Kelly, Environmental Debates and the Public in Ireland (Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 2007), p. 13.
  6. Thomas A. Heberlein, Navigating Environmental Attitudes (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 73.
  7. Tellegen Egbert, and Wolsink Maarten, Society & its Environment: Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2013), p. 125.
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